English idioms are an important part of everyday English.
An idiom is a phrase, saying, or a group of words with metaphorical meaning, which has become accepted in common usage.
Idioms evolve the language; they are the building blocks of a language and civilization. They also have great intensity to make a language exciting and dynamic.
There are many Idioms, and they are used very commonly in all languages. There are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language.
Idioms are not easy to understand – especially for non-native speakers, because their intentions are usually symbolic. This characteristic makes them strange and difficult to understand for English learners. Here are some common idioms:
set the bar = to set a high or low standard or something
Example: Don’t set the bar so high that it’s impossible to achieve anything.
A hot potato= a controversial issue or situation that is awkward or unpleasant to deal with
Example: Nobody talked about the reduction in staff at the meeting, I think it’s still a hot potato for everybody.
Piece of cake= something that is easy to do
Example: Learning Spanish is a piece of cake as long as you do it with our website.
Once in a blue moon= very rarely
Example: I go to visit my cousins only once in a blue moon
a bed of roses = easy option
Example: Taking care of my younger brother is no bed of roses.
Raining cats and dogs= raining very heavily
Example: I wanted to go to the park today, but it was raining cats and dogs yesterday.
When pigs fly= something that will never happen or is impossible
Example: Bill will keep quiet only when pigs fly.
Devil’s advocate= one who presents a counter-argument
Example: Hey John! You’re always playing devil’s advocate! Give it a rest and mind your own business.
Apple of eye= someone very precious
Example: Every child in the world is the apple of their parents’ eye.
Miss the boat= miss the chance.
Example: Nicolas wanted to enter the drawing competition, but he was too late to enter, and he missed the boat.
Zip your lip= to stop talking
Example: Now do as you’re told and zip your lip.